Brandon Funston

  • High Fives: Mitch Moreland (still) begs for your attention

    Brandon Funston at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    As we head into Week 13 of the fantasy baseball season, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski and Andy Behrens offer their top-5 takes on those players bucking for employment in fantasy leagues. Each week, we'll take a trip around the diamond to uncover the best help that your FAAB dollars can buy. Let's get to it ...

    2. Adam Lind - Assuming good health, you're getting 10-15 additional homers and a useful average. Easy add.

    3. Jimmy Paredes - Bat has perked up last few weeks, Wiggy story isn't dead yet

    3. Joe Mauer - Wouldn't be the least bit surprising if he hit .310-ish, rest of season.

    4. Francisco Cervelli - Here's a .300-hitting catcher, available at no cost.

    5. David Freese - Don't think the average sticks at its current level, but I do think the 20-homer pace is real.

       

    1. Luis Valbuena - If the power continues at anything close to this rate, you can live with the AVG hit.

    2. Logan Forsythe - Nope, he still hasn't fallen off. Nice power/speed combo, with positional flexibility.

     

    2. Kevin Kiermaier - I was like 30 seconds late to add him in the F&F league, and it's still bothering me.

       

  • Closing Time: K is for Keuchel

    Brandon Funston at Roto Arcade 8 days ago

    We, as a fantasy community, have long ago (last year) come to terms with Dallas Keuchel being a soft-tossing, pitch-to-contact type - well, most of us have come to terms (he's the 22nd-most owned starter despite being currently ranked third among SPs in to-date fantasy production). And we've been willing to overlook his strikeout shortcomings because of the ridiculously good ratios. But after Keuchel punched out a dozen Yankees on Thursday, we may have to recalibrate how we perceive Kid Keuchy.

    Keuchel entered the season having never fanned a double-digit number of hitters in a game. He's now done it twice in his past six outings, and he owns a 9.48 K/9 rate in that span - his career mark entering the season was right around 6.30. And if you are looking for some kind of change in Keuchel's pitch profile to explain his sudden sharp rise in Ks, it's not readily apparent - he's getting hitters to go after pitches outside the zone a bit more, but he's really mixing his four-pitch arsenal in a similar manner to what he's done in the past.

    Alright, here's a few more noteworthy on-field evelopments from Thursday's slimmed-down slate of games:

  • Closing Time: A change does Marco Estrada good

    Brandon Funston at Roto Arcade 9 days ago

    Marco Estrada deserved better. So it was in Tampa on Wednesday as Toronto's starter carried a no-no into the 8th inning for the second consecutive start. This time he was untouchable (untouchable, meaning perfect), until, with one out in the 8th, Tampa Bay's Logan Forsythe beat out (tie goes to the runner) an infield chopper that 3B Josh Donaldson did all he could do to make the out - and just before that play, he did all that Superman could do to make an out on David DeJesus - seriously, click the link and watch that Donaldson play if you haven't already. Sometimes, Billy Beane, you should just pay the player - and sometimes you should have thicker skin.

    • By my estimation, roughly two-thirds of Yahoo leagues still have a heartbeat. I use Justin Turner, and rookies Billy Burns and Lance McCullers, as my evidence of that - that is (roughly) the percentage of leagues in which they are owned.

     

  • Over/Under: Just how macho is Machado?

    Brandon Funston at Roto Arcade 10 days ago

    Brandon –  OVER on HRs, UNDER on steals. I have confidence in Machado's ability to hit at least 25 home runs - the power/talent is certainly there. But Baltimore has just 34 SB attempts as a team, one of the lowest totals in the league. And Machado already has more steals than he combined for in the previous nearly 300 MLB games that he played prior to this season. I have a feeling his SB tally is going to ease up a bit in the second half and he'll finish just shy of this O/U mark.

    I think the Machado/Braynt comparison is about as close as it gets. At the moment, I'll give Machado a slight edge because you do have to consider the experience factor and the luck factor (Bryant's .380 BABIP is 5th-highest among those with at least 250 plate appearances). Scott – OVER on everything. This is Baby A-Rod, right? The confidence, the toe tap, the uniform number, the shift to third when he really should be a shortstop (when I watch Machado play defense, I can hear the angels weeping). Machado over Bryant, too - being around the block once or twice has value. 

    Scott  – UNDER. Contact is an issue, teams make adjustments on emerging hitters. 

  • High Fives: Looking for pop on Father's Day

    Brandon Funston at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    As we head into Week 12 of the fantasy baseball season, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski and Dalton Del Don offer their top-5 takes on those players bucking for employment in fantasy leagues. Each week, we'll take a trip around the diamond to uncover the best help that your FAAB dollars can buy. Let's get to it ...

    5. Mike Napoli - He seems like a weekly recommendation here

     

       

       

       

  • Over/Under: Forecasting Phat Albert

    Brandon Funston at Roto Arcade 17 days ago

     

    With 16 home runs since the start of May, Albert Pujols is on pace to surpass 40 home runs for the first time since '10. With just shy of 100 games left in the season, can Pujols at least reach 37 home runs, his tally in his final season in St. Louis ('11) - O/U 17.5 rest-of-season home runs?

    Brandon –  OVER. I'll say he gets to 37 exactly. The odds are probably slightly in favor of him finishing under given his age, recent health history and the fact that he hasn't really come close to this number in the three-plus seasons he's been in Anaheim. But he's reached this mark nine times in his career, and he's locked in pretty solid right now (6 BB and just 3 K in his past 71 at bats). Pujols is reminding us that when all is right with him, he's at least in the discussion of the best hitters in baseball. Scott – UNDER, a shade under anyway. I wish I could see something that stands in line with the power trend. The plate discipline stats are the same, the hard-hit rate hasn't budged, Pujols is actually pulling the ball less often. 

    Brandon –  .249, 47 Runs, 16 Steals

    Dalton – .245, 35 Runs, 15 Steals

  • High Fives: Rookies rule Week 11 wire

    Brandon Funston at Yahoo Sports 20 days ago

    As we head into Week 11 of the fantasy baseball season, Brandon Funston, Andy Behrens and Dalton Del Don offer their top-5 takes on those players bucking for employment in fantasy leagues. Each week, we'll take a trip around the diamond to uncover the best help that your FAAB dollars can buy. Let's get to it ...

    3. Chris Colabello - Hitting streak recently concluded, but he looks like he's beginning another. Power is well established.

       

       

       

       

  • Over/Under: Tulo, Joey Bats wake up

    Brandon Funston at Roto Arcade 24 days ago

    After a sluggish first two months of the season, Troy Tulowitzki has caught fire in June, with a .464 average, three home runs and 12 RBI in the first seven games of the month? Tulo has some potential pitfalls ahead (health history, and the very real possibility that he could be traded away from the most lucrative offensive home park in the league), so with that in mind ... O/U 137.5 games played, .299 batting average, 24.5 home runs, 89.5 RBI?

    Brandon – I'll take the OVER on home runs - he had 21 HRs at the All-Star break last season, so we know that he can heat up in a hurry. His 162-game HR average over the previous six seasons is 34, which is to say that he can hit a 15-day DL stint and I think he'd still be able to reach 25 HRs. Also, his road HR tally over the past several years has been solid, so I don't think a trade is a dealbreaker for this O/U HR total.

    Scott – UNDER on the entire lot. Too much of an injury history. And even if Tulo somehow stays healthy, that probably means he's on a different roster in August. 

    Brandon –   1) Rodon 2) McCullers 3) Rodriguez 4) Walker 5) Velasquez

  • High Fives: Week 10 wire - Oh, Billy!

    Brandon Funston at Yahoo Sports 26 days ago

    As we head into Week 10 of the fantasy baseball season, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski and Andy Behrens offer their top-5 takes on those players bucking for employment in fantasy leagues. Each week, we'll take a trip around the diamond to uncover the best help that your FAAB dollars can buy. Let's get to it ...

    2. Maikel Franco - Five homers so far, including that game-tying shot off Aroldis. He's legit.

    3. Alex Guerrero - We can't stop Crazy Mattingly, but when Alex plays, Alex mashes

    3. Mitch Moreland - Sure, it's possible that he'll get caught in a numbers/roster game later, but he's helping right now.

    4. Francisco Cervelli -Just looking for a way to squeeze a catcher in here. Batting .331, yet widely available.

    5. Chris Colabello - He's binging again, a multi-hit machine with pop.

       

    1. Wilmer Flores - He's up to eight HRs, and the batting average is tolerable. Terrific pop for a middle infielder.

    2. Logan Forsythe - So this guy just keeps rolling. Nice power/speed combo, plus positional flixibility.

     

    2. Adam Eaton - Recent numbers have been much better; as weather improves, the Sox are gonna score.

       

  • Over/Under: How low will CarGo go?

    Brandon Funston at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    Over a four-year span ('10-'13), you could make a pretty good argument that there wasn't a better fantasy player than Carlos Gonzalez. But coming off a knee injury in '14, CarGo has barely been able to return top 100 fantasy outfielder value to this point. Can CarGo turn back the clock and close out the season strong - O/U top 40 final season OF ranking?

    Brandon – UNDER. Staying on the field is my biggest concern with CarGo - he's played more than 135 games just once in his career, and he's averaged just 110 in his past four seasons. But, assuming his surgically-repaired knee holds, I'd expect him to heat up with the summer. He's still playing home games in the friendliest home park in the league. And he's actually still in the middle of his prime (age 29). This was arguably the best player in roto baseball from '10-'13. I'd bet on that guy being able to finish top 40 among OFs just two seasons later - and, hey, he's been a top 30 OF since mid-May, so at least he's trending in the right direction.

    Scott –  I drove a lot of the optimism, but he looks lost right now. I'll go OVER the steals, UNDER on the pop.